Nets slip past slumping Suns
Phoenix, AZ – Brook Lopez scored 21 points and Deron Williams recorded a double-double with 20 points and 11 assists, as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Phoenix Suns, 102-100, on Sunday.
Kris Humphries had a season-high 17 points and eight rebounds while C.J. Watson scored 14 points off the bench for the Nets, who came into the game off a 101-95 loss against the Clippers on Saturday.
"We got a lot of points off the bench tonight and that's just how it has to be sometimes to get the wins. I said earlier teams like this sometimes are the tough teams to beat," Humphries said.
Goran Dragic had a season-high 31 points to go along with 12 assists for the Suns, who have lost seven of their last eight games. Wesley Johnson scored 21 points and P.J. Tucker tallied 14 points and eight rebounds. Markieff Morris had a double-double, recording 10 points and 15 rebounds, including nine offensive.
"We are of course disappointed because we lost, but if we can have that type of effort every single night we will take it," Suns coach Lindsey Hunter said. "We will take it and we will walk off the court with our heads high because we fought and that is the message. That is what we have to do every single night, every single practice, we have to fight."
Tied at 87-87 with 5:08 remaining in regulation, Williams drilled a 3-pointer to give Brooklyn the lead.
However, Dragic kept it close for Phoenix, scoring its next eight points. Each time the Nets scored, Dragic answered back.
With 3:15 to go, the Nets had a 95-93 edge. Williams sank both of his free throws with under three minutes to play to extend their lead.
Scola made a layup 20 seconds later, only for Williams to respond with a layup of his own and the Nets had a 99-95 advantage with 2:12 to play.
Neither team managed to score over the next two minutes, with the Suns missing four shots.
Gerald Wallace made one of his two free throws with 14 seconds remaining, but Dragic's tip shot cut the deficit to 100-99 with 7.6 seconds left.
Watson made two free throws a second later, but there was enough time for the Suns to tie the game.
With three seconds remaining, Dragic drew a foul off Williams. He made the first free throw, but deliberately missed the second. Hamed Haddadi grabbed the offensive rebound and attempted a layup, but missed. Reggie Evans picked up the defensive rebound, sealing the victory.
Entering the second quarter, the game was tied at 25-25. However, the Nets outscored the Suns 30-18 in the period, including a 10-2 spurt early in the frame.
At halftime, the Nets had a 55-43 advantage.
The Suns turned things around in the third. They had a 12-2 midway through the period and cut the gap to 66-62 with just under four minutes remaining.
Johnson made four 3-pointers over the final 2:12 to give Phoenix a 76-75 edge entering the fourth quarter.
Johnson scored 17 points in the third quarter ... Dragic recorded double- digits in assists for the fifth game in a row ... The Nets shot 28-of-31 from the foul line ... Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo is 27-17 since being named interim head coach on Dec. 27, the best start by a Nets coach in franchise history ... Brooklyn has 19 road wins this season, the most since 2005-06.